Bishop Ralph Walker Nickless

Birthday: 28 May 1947

Bachelor’s – St. Thomas Theological Seminary, Denver, Colorado
Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology. – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
Master’s – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome

Ordination: 4 August 1973
Episcopate: 20 January 2006

Bishop Ralph Walker Nickless on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Supports investigating Archbishop Viganò’s claims
  • In a pastoral letter, Bishop Nickles said he supports and echoes Cardinal DiNardo’s call for an examination into Archbishop Vigano’s statement. “I believe Archbishop Viganó and, at the same time, we need more information,” he said.” Nickless also said no bishop is “above the law” and none should “hope to evade…the canonical laws of the church.” Let “the harsh light of truth come,” he added. “I join the greater part of my brother bishops in supplicating the Holy Father to make a clearer and fuller answer to the Testimony.” (Diocese of Sioux City)

Amoris Laetitia

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Pro-life leadership

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  • Bishop Nickless serves on the advisory board of Priests for Life, a pro-life organization of Catholic priests (Priests for Life)


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  • After the Supreme Court legalized homosexual “marriage” in 2015, Bishop Nickless wrote a public letter expressing “great disappointment” with the Court. He said there is “much to criticize in the decision,” which has “inconsistencies of logic” and “contradictions.” Nickless strongly defended Church teaching on marriage and how contraception, promiscuity and divorce has deeply damaged marriage. (Diocese of Sioux City)

Abortion politics

Upholds Church teaching on abortion politics
  • In a pastoral letter released June 1, 2017, Bishop Nickless praised the efforts of the 40 Days for Life that helped close four Planed Parenthood “abortion mills.” Nickless said this was a “great victory of prayer and witness for life.” His Excellency also said “we must not support pro-abortion politicians and parties.” Abortion is a “vicious” and “intrinsic evil” that can “never be supported.” We “cannot pray for an end to abortion in private, and then support pro-abortion politicians in public and believe that we are consistently following Christ. It is simply a contradiction.” Both “prayer and voting pro-life” are “necessary.” (Diocese of Sioux City)


Faithful to Church teaching on contraception
  • On July 12, 2018, Bishop Nickless wrote a diocesan letter arguing that Humanae Vitae “offered a clear defense of the church’s unchanging teaching regarding human sexuality.” He said the “key elements” of God’s plan for human sexuality involves “the reservation of sex for marriage only, the immorality of contraception and sterilization and the necessity of openness to life each time the sexual act is performed by a married couple, and the social and personal dangers of the ‘contraceptive culture’.” (Diocese of Sioux City)
  • On February 5, 2015, Bishop Nickless released a letter saying artificial contraception is “rather irresponsible for spouses, since it leads to real harm to children – namely, divorce, abortion, and related ills.” Nickless then wrote “To be responsible as parents…means to be open to life and faithful to your spouse, discerning and cooperating carefully with God in the number and spacing of the children he wants to give you.” (Diocese of Sioux City)

“LGBT” ideology

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Marriage and Family Life

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